The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2018 fails to protect the human rights of transgender people as guaranteed under the Indian constitution and international law and standards and must not be passed in its present form by the Rajya Sabha.
The Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha (Lower House of Indian Parliament) on 17 December, 2018. The next step in order for the Bill to progress is for the Rajya Sabha (Upper House of Indian Parliament) to pass it.
The ICJ considers this Bill to be a missed opportunity to address the serious problem of discrimination against transgender people in India. The ICJ calls for the rejection of its problematic parts by the Rajya Sabha and for the elaboration of a revised Bill in line with rights upheld by the Indian Supreme Court and India’s obligations under international law.
The 2018 Bill, if adopted, would effectively deny to most transgender people their right to self-identification, by providing an overly complex bureaucratic procedure requiring an individual’s application for a transgender certificate to be approved by two different sets of authorities, despite earlier widespread condemnation of this process by the transgender community.
“As the ICJ reported in 2017, the transgender community is continually harassed, stigmatized, and abused by the police, judges, their family and society. This Bill, if it becomes law would further serve to facilitate and compound human rights violations against people from a marginalized community”, said Ian Seiderman, Legal and Policy Director at the ICJ.